Hello All and welcome back to another Papyrus and Peppermint Book and Tea review!
I hope you had a spooky and fabulous Halloween and read some fabulous books. I always read spooky books or scary thrillers at this time of year, as I just feel like the vibe is right. We’re all in the mood for a little scare, a little jumpy story or some gruesome gore!
I celebrated Halloween this year in Tenerife, so missed out on the trick or treat visitors, but I had the most amazing time on the island, enjoying the heat! I laid around the pool reading Gothic Horror and Thrillers, and I even went to the huge crater at the base of the Teide Volcano and did some stargazing through professional telescopes! There was an amazing sky that night which just so perfectly added to the eerie vibe. It was literally like being on another planet, or in a Star Wars movie up there, it was what you’d imagine another planet to look like (and consider also it was pitch black, lots of spooky silhouettes)! I would hands down recommend to anybody visiting the island, it was an amazing experience.
Here are some photos of that night, I have to share as it was something else up there. We saw Saturn, Jupiter, the moon, star clusters, the Milky Way and shooting stars.
The Moon as seen through a telescope, and the night sky at the Teide.
Whatever you got up to this Halloween I hope you had a fantastic time. In this post edition, I’m going to be sharing with you an amazing thriller that I read this month, and also my review of a smoky, woody tea, perfect for foggy dark mornings and pitch black nights to drink alongside this seasons reads.
ONE OF THE GIRLS, BY LUCY CLARKE
Firstly, a huge thank you to Lucy Clarke and Harper Collins for sending me an early copy of this read. I’m afraid I didn’t get around to reading this one before publication (I know, I know), but in actual fact I feel for me that I read this at exactly the right time. On a girl’s holiday on an island, around a pool, in what I (personally feel is) Thriller Season!
‘One of the Girls’ is a twisty, juicy, psychological thriller from The Sunday Times bestselling author Lucy Clarke. Its the story of six women who are all on a hen do, to celebrate the upcoming wedding of Lexi to Ed. As you can imagine on a typical hen do, there are multiple different personalities, different personal circumstances, and lots of fighting for the bride to be’s attention, to prove who is the better friend, who knows the bride best, etc.
I’m sure we can all say we’ve all been on at least one of those types of hen do’s. This one is no different. Although Lexi is the bride to be, her friend Bella is keen to be centre of attention throughout the whole holiday, and what I really enjoyed is how much Lucy Clarke made Bella a bit of a villain, a frenemy. She gave plenty of different characters good cause to despise Bella, and to start a few thoughts stirring as to who might get killed off and who by!
The other guests include Fen, the girlfriend of Bella, Eleanor the sister of Ed (sister in law to be), Ana, Lexi’s Yoga buddy and Robyn, lifelong friend of Bella and Bride to be Lexi. It’s a character driven read and I really felt I got to know most of these characters very well, although I didn’t really feel that much character strength from Robyn in comparison to the other women.
The Hen do takes place on a fictional greek island, which the author chose to be fictional so she could have artistic license with the story and the setting, which I think is very smart as a reader I would say I pieced together different greek islands in my head when visualising, but I was very much with the author and her descriptions and happy to be led.
Throughout the *almost 100!* chapters, we are hinted at by an unknown narrator, about who might die, and when. There’s tantalising hints at secrets, lies, and dark pasts woven throughout the story, the question is, how do they all link together and who is going to die? Will anyone make it out of the hen holiday alive?
CAN’T PUT IT DOWN RATING: 4.5/5
One of the best thrillers i’ve read in 2022, hands down. It was twisty, a tangled web of deceit, secrets, lies and hidden pasts, fake friendships, emotions, ulterior motives. I absolutely flew threw it. Chapters were short and each titled with a different character and their thoughts/actions, which. I loved. It made it a really pacey read and super easy to pick up and put down during the day. I found myself reaching for my kindle as often as I could to see how the story would twist and turn next!
I felt that Lucy Clarke perfectly imagined just how far a bad hen do could go. I know ive certainly been on a few where personalities get in the way of a good time, people clash, someone is too controlling, rubs others up the wrong way. This is the perfect exploration of how badly things could turn, how deep could secrets and motives go and what is the true nature of these female friendships?
I had a few ‘gasp moments’ throughout the read and definitely moments that I really did not see coming. Usually I’m quite the Agatha Christie and sense plot twists early on, but I didn’t with this one! The ending was a shock for sure, although *no spoilers* (!) given what had happened a few chapters prior, I did feel it would have been more interesting for the ending to have happened via another method. Thats all I’ll say so as not to give it away, if you’ve read it I hope you’ll know what I mean! I also liked that although this is a dark read, it had quite a sweet ending, showing the strength of female friendships.
100% Recommend to lovers of thrillers, so if youre planning a holiday get this one on your kindle, or perhaps on your Christmas Wishlist!
WASHED DOWN WITH
When I returned from my holiday, I began brewing up a delicious Oolong Tea by The Tea Makers of London and sipped that in my favourite teacup whilst finishing off my dark and thrilling read!
I’m a big fan of loose leaf teas and I have sampled quite a lot of different oolongs, both in bag form and loose leaf. This ‘Phoenix Honey Orchid Oolong’ (Tea No 89) from The Tea Makers is like nothing else I’ve tried, from either big brands or in speciality tea rooms. Firstly, when I opened the tin (which I think is gorgeous to look at and for shelf decor!) the first thing that hit me was the aroma of smokiness and of sweetness. It just felt like the absolute perfect accompaniment to the weather and to the book vibes! Dark, smoky but with a side of sweetness.
If youre not too up on your tea types, an oolong tea (translation: ‘black dragon’) is a neither a black or green tea as its made from a plant that can make either, it’s flavour will depend upon the direction of the tea master! It’s a Chinese Tea and this specific tea shown here is from the Phoenix Mountain region in China and is only picked in Spring. Oolong teas are said to have many benefits for the body due to the amino acids they contain and this is a premium tea blend.
To brew an oolong you want water just off the boil, so 90c and 3-4 minutes brewing. You only need a teaspoon of tea for a cup for full flavour. I patiently waited then poured and sipped.
I would describe the flavour as multi tonal, fresh and smoky, it’s like a melody! Initially, you’re hit with a green tea type flavour, then a note of sweetness, and then there’s a very mild bitter smoke/tobacco/woody flavour that sits in your mouth for a minute or two after. I’m sat with a cup of this tea, wrapped up in a blanket with the cat at my feet as I type this and it’s so comforting for cosiness.
I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a light oolong, perhaps even those who enjoy a Lapsang Souchong but would like less of an intensive smoked flavour. If you’re interested to try this specific tea, head over to The Tea Makers website by clicking/tapping here – definitely one to treat a tea lover to this Christmas, whether thats tea and cake with friends or as a stocking filler!
Huge thanks to the lovely April at The Tea Makers of London for sending me this beautiful tea to try in exchange for my honest and fair review.
That’s all from me today you lovely lot. I really hope you’ve enjoyed my book and tea review in this post, if you have please show it some love – like /follow/ comment/ share , it all helps 🙂
I hope you have a fantastic weekend’s reading and sipping, I’m off to get my head stuck in another book whilst I enjoy this pot of tea!
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